Dining plan or not?


#1

Planning a seven-day stay this May at WDW and am wondering about whether or not to get the dining plan. DD and I (she’s 22) are the only ones going. We’ve been to WDW tons of times, but never taken advantage of the dining plan.

It sounds like a LOT of food each day, to tell you the truth. We’re trying to figure out how much we spend each day on food in deciding whether or not to opt for the dining plan.

Any feedback from folks who’ve bought it?

Thanks!

:mickey:


#2

We’ve used the regular DDP the last 2 trips and will be using the Deluxe DDP on our trip next month (gee, is it here already? :mickey:). We figured out after we used DDP the 1st time that it actually paid for itself. While I will say it is a lot of food, it was nice not to have to worry about budgeting for meals, although we did need to buy another suitcase for the extra souvenirs we bought :laugh:


#3

I got the DP last Nov. when I went with a friend of mine. It was great. For me, it was nice because it gave me the opportunity to try some resturants that my kids would not like. To me it was a decent amount of food. Not too much or too little. We had 1 TS and 1 CS and 1snack. It was the perfect amount. We will be using it again this May.


#4

I’d urge you to crunch the numbers. I’ve done it (twice!) for our upcoming trip and decided to pay out of pocket.

I think we have some ADRs on our trip that aren’t the greatest value on the DDP, but those are the places where we want to eat. I really don’t want to be picking places based on “bang for the buck.” The numbers said that we would be saving about 2-3% on the DDP; doesn’t seem like much, but any savings is still something to consider.

In the end, we opted for flexibility. For instance, I’m an appetizer guy not a dessert guy. Sometimes my adventurous 9-year old wants the kid meal and sometimes she’d like to try something off the regular menu. The last time we were on the DDP (the old one with appetizer and dessert at the TS meals) - even as the huge eaters we are - we found it to be too much. On the last couple of days we had a ton of counter service and snack credits to use.

It’s a tough call… and that’s why I went through everything two different times. Had the savings been closer to 10%, I’d likely make a different decision.

On this trip, I’m definitely going to keep track of the receipts so I can see if we made the right decision or not.

Bruce


#5

[QUOTE=phayes93;936206]Planning a seven-day stay this May at WDW and am wondering about whether or not to get the dining plan. DD and I (she’s 22) are the only ones going. We’ve been to WDW tons of times, but never taken advantage of the dining plan.

It sounds like a LOT of food each day, to tell you the truth. We’re trying to figure out how much we spend each day on food in deciding whether or not to opt for the dining plan.

Any feedback from folks who’ve bought it?

Thanks!

:mickey:[/QUOTE]

We had the same dilemma and decided to try the DDP on our last trip and I’m happy to say I think it’s the only way to go as you never have to watch how much things cost if your on a budget and who isn’t these days.


#6

Even though I’m a plus size gal, the DDP is way to much food for me. Plus, I don’t like the idea of having to be at a certain place at a certain time. For us, it takes to much time away from the parks. Then again, for some people it’s part of their vacation.


#7

it is a ton of food, but very easy to use once you get the hang of it (only takes about 1 meal…). We did it as a family of four. It was nice to get whatever you want and just know you ahve already paid for it. I think that for 2 kids and 2 adults for 8 nights we spent $800. If you break that down, it saved us money on meals- considering we did a lot of buffets and table service where the price of the entree might be $22-27 each. Disney charges $40 per day, so on just that alone with one drink during the day… we were saving money. And we were stuffed to the gills…


#8

DDP would not work for us. Too much time spent in restaurants, and we hate dessert.

Alternative plan:

If only one of you buys an AP (and at that many days, you will find the AP prices very much to your liking!) you can also buy a “Tables In Wonderland” card for $60, which gets you 20% off almost every morsel of food and all beverages – including liquor.

That way, you can eat what you want, when you want it, and you can wash it down with whatever you choose to drink. If you’d rather have an appetizer instead of a dessert, it’s completely fine. Two appetizes and no entree? No problem. You eat your way.

Here is a link to really good info about the card. You will really enjoy this program!

http://allears.net/din/dde.htm

We used the card and saved hundreds of dollars over the menu prices last trip, which was terrific.


#9

Can the Tables in Wonderland card be used at Counter Service places? The list on Allears only shows table service places at the theme parks.


#10

We are going to use the deluxe when we go in September, I just love the fact that you get to try so many different things. I’m sure I will never be able to finish an app, dinner and dessert but I’m sure looking forward to getting a taste of it all!


#11

We use DDP because its convenient everything is already paid for except tip.You get plenty of food.One TS meal can cover the cost of DDP for the day.We are trying the CS meal plan next trip so we our not tied down with ADRs.


#12

[QUOTE=MissDisney;936241]you can also buy a “Tables In Wonderland” card for $60, which gets you 20% off almost every morsel of food and all beverages – including liquor.

[/QUOTE]

Not to make myself and my wife sound like lushes, but this is a fantastic point. Thanks for reminding me about that MissDisney!

Bruce


#13

My two complaints about the DDP are the amount of time you have to set aside for meals, and the now shrinking list of snack options. Other than that it has been great for our family as we can choose what we like and only have to worry about the tip. We have been fortunate enough to enjoy the free DDP in the fall though, so that makes it a significant value.


#14

I did the dining plan for the first time last month. I enjopyed that it was already paid for in advance, but I do not need dessert at every meal. I think it is only a good deal if you use you TS for dinner as breakfast is much cheaper.

The next time I plan to go on an adults only trip, I would actually do the deluxe or the platinum or whatever it is called. Yes, it is A LOT of food, but you can go to some fancier places and use 2 credits and do things you probably wouldn’t do if you were paying out of pocket. Plus, you can get a spa treatment and tickets to Cirque and some other fun stuff.

Whatever you pick, have a great trip!


#15

In the past, yes you could use it at certain counter service places.


#16

I think if you have one sit down meal a day, on a normal trip, the DDP is actually a good deal. If you are not the kind of family that does sit downs, then perhaps the counter service meal plan is the better option.

I know that meals are a very important part of our trip, and we have crunched the numbers a few times for this trip, and it looks like it will be a savings for us.

The Tables in Wonderland card is also a good option if you have AP’s, but, if you are not planning another trip within the next twelve months, I would not buy the aps. The MYW ticket pricing is very good, for longer stays.


#17

I have never been able to use the TiW card at a counter service that we have been to. This is our 4th year with the card- which I LOVE!!


#18

I know for a fact you can use it at POFQ’s counter service, we have used it there before. There were other places in the past, I believe Flame Tree BBQ, but I don’t think they accept it there anymore.


#19

I love the Dining plan. You get to try so much food. I’m more of a petite girl and it’s not that much more food than I can hold. DH of course can hold it all.

It’s worth the money. It will end up saving you money, plus you don’t have to worry about the cost of each individual meal. (Plus, this way you can splurge and get the most expensive stuff on the menu that you normally wouldn’t think of ordering).

I will never go back to disney without doing the dining plan. It takes the hassle out of worrying about carrying so much money around with you. It’s so much easier to get the dining plan!


#20

We are huge fans of the regular DP. I was skeptical at first, so on one of our trips I kept all the receipts from our meals/snacks and we paid more than the price would have been for the dining plan, and didn’t eat nearly as well as we would have on the plan. Since then, we have always done the DP. We save money but more importantly, we eat better! We eat at many more TS restaurants than we would if we were paying out of pocket. We typically use snack credits for breakfast, and pay out of pocket for snacks. Because you get so much food, we rarely snack anyway. Then we use our CS and TS for lunch or dinner.